Don’t Like Your Job? Keep It To Yourself.

It’s just another week on the Internet when someone shares a blog post about their experience at a company they work for, how they’re having trouble paying their bills, etc. While it’s heartbreaking to read about how someone is personally struggling to stay afloat while working for a company they admire and enjoy working for, there are other ways to (potentially) solve this problem without drawing a lot of attention to the matter.

1. Speak to a company mentor or HR representative.
The right way to approach a difficult, personal situation is to speak to the company’s human resources department. They’re on your side. That’s where you can air your frustrations about anything you wish (and, hopefully, it’s confidential).

2. Do not air your frustrations publicly, especially on social media.
What do you do when you have a terrible experience with, for example, an airline that lost your luggage or other situations in which you were not pleased with an outcome? You immediately sign into all of your social media accounts and unleash your frustrations. If you’re lucky, that company is listening. In this case, the author of a recent post directed her personal frustrations (1, 2, 3) at the company’s CEO on Twitter for all to see. While the CEO did attempt to discuss the incident on his Twitter account (1,2,3,4,5), it was already too late — The employee had been fired from her job. While others felt he had taken too long to respond, I feel he took appropriate action to gather the facts before publicly responding (even if we didn’t receive a direct answer as to what happened behind the scenes that led to the employee’s termination).

While there has been quite a number of articles posted in response to her firing (1,2,3,4), a few have wondered what was the real motivation behind her termination at Eat24.

Dan Pontefract at Forbes nailed it when he offered two sides to validate her termination: “Yes” or “No”.

“Yes”: He states that it’s never a good idea start a “public attack on your CEO.” This now puts you in a negative spotlight, and will become a likely cause of distraction within the work environment. That’s exactly what a company does not need. If you were running a company, would you like to keep an employee who publicly writes negative posts/tweets about your company and/or how they’re struggling because you pay them a low salary or hourly wage?

“No”: To potentially claim that the employee was “suffering from some form of duress that caused her to publicly berate her CEO” or has a mental instability is a little too far-fetched. I’m curious to see how many agree that she was wrongfully terminated for this potential reason.

My Opinion: I believe the employee was rightfully terminated. As an employee, you are the company’s ambassador, a visual representation and what they stand for. In this case, the employee discussed how her lifestyle was affected by her employer’s inability to pay a decent salary, which caused her to struggle (financially, personally). While she may not have expected a storm of both backlash and support for her posts/tweets, the damage is done.

Overall, what have we learned? Who can you speak with privately about your experience, and how can they help you overcome any obstacles in your way? It’s safe to say that airing your frustrations immediately on social media is not the way to go. Think about your actions and the results that may occur.

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